It’s hard to forget the spring of 2013 when growers had more rain then they could handle. For some they lost crops, for others the seed was planted a bit late. But what if there was a way to improve your changes for a better harvest despite too much soil moisture. Well, there is a way to do just that: Ag Leader’s new Hydraulic Down Force System.
To learn more about how this precision technology works, I spoke with Ag Leader’s Brett Buehler during the 2014 Iowa Power Farming show. As explained by Buehler one of the big issues growers face during planting is that the seed is planted at the proper depth. When the seed is not optimally planted, it can negatively impact yield. While there are technologies on the market to help address this, Buehler said that many of them have limitations that the Hydraulic Down Force System overcomes.
For many growers, last year’s crops were planted in wet conditions. (During planting the soil gets compacted and in essence turns in to cement so the roots can’t grow deep enough to access the water and nutrients they need throughout the growing season). “Last year was the perfect storm. We had a wet planting spring and it got dry during the summer. So the guys who used our Hydraulic Down Force System last year had tremendous yield,” said Buehler.
Planters still come from the factory with springs that growers have to adjust and it is hard to determine what the right adjustment is when field conditions can change in less than 50 feet. So unlike the air bag option that some companies have developed, Ag Leader went with a hydraulic actuator that in essence allows the planter to react nearly instantaneously.
“So instead of taking 30 or 40 seconds to compass the air to get the right amount of downforce,” explained Buehler, “we can react within a second with the hydraulic down force.”
The technology, says Buehler, is excellent for the grower who has varying soil types his field.
Listen to my full interview with Brett Buehler: [wpaudio url=”http://zimmcomm.biz/agleader/iowapower-buehler-14.mp3″ text=”Hydraulic Down Force Leads to Up in Production”]
Click here to view the 2014 Iowa Power Farming Show photo album.